I continued to have nightmares, always the same. I asked why…why…why? I needed to understand what was happening. Months later my parents Reyna and Jose decided to reveal the secret of the dream to me.
They told me how my birth on July 26, 1956 brought happiness and joy but also the headaches associated with people born under the zodiac sign of Leo. Only 20 days had passed when that prophecy began to work.
In those days many families still followed the tradition of quarantine for new mothers as part of the recovery process. My mother was allowed only to feed me; her three sisters and her mother Vicenta were in charge of all my other daily needs.
For some reason my mother argued with her two younger sisters one day and her anger must have affected her milk because after I nursed I became ill. Grandma Vicenta wanted to treat me with traditional cures that she knew, saying that I probably had a tummy ache. But my mother would not allow this and asked her to bring Doctor Apis who had attended my birth. So Grandma Vicenta went to the doctor’s office but did not find him.
On her way back she passed a different doctor’s office and explained the situation to him. He came to the house with her but diagnosed me incorrectly; plus his nurse applied the saline solution badly and I began to swell up, becoming seriously ill.
Grandma Vicenta demanded that the doctor fix his error but he responded that it was not his responsibility and the only thing to be done was to take me to a church to be baptized before I died.
When my father arrived home from work he took my mother’s older sister, her husband and me to the parish church but help was denied them. They took me from church to church with the same inhumane results. Finally we were sent to another town where we were received at last but during the baptism I expelled a big glob of green slime and went limp. The priest told my new godparents that I was dead and that they would need to go to a doctor for a death certificate.
Through their tears, they found their way to the office of Doctor Apis, who became very angry and at first refused to do the examination for the death certificate. But finally he agreed and placed me on a table to begin the process. Then he noticed something that made him send my father out for certain medications and oxygen, telling him to hurry.
He placed me in something like an incubator and after some hours passed, I returned to life. Doctor Apis told my father “Now I am more Marco Antonio’s father than you.”
Papa explains about the people I see in my dream: the man in the white coat is Doctor Apis, and he is talking with my father and my godparents. The baby I see in the cradle is me.
Two years after that night, Doctor Apis died in a car accident when he tried to avoid running over a dog. He was a person of high quality, offering support to the community with his knowledge, and was especially helpful to those people with very few resources. May he rest in peace.